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The Curse of Poverty in India: Will it go Away ?

November 19, 2011  by: Madan G Singh  Points: 20   Category: Others    Views: 742

Poverty is rising in India and reaching alarming proportions.


Just 120 km from the glamour city of Mumbai is the tribal area of Maharashtra. A visit will show that the fruits of development have not reached the tribal's who are in a status quoi for the last 100 years.Perhaps this must be the case in most tribal regions of India and one can understand why the Maoists are thriving in the villages of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra and east Maharashtra.
Manmohan Singh - The Economist
In 1991 Narasimhan Rao the then Indian Prime Minister appointed Man Mohan as the finance minister. Much was expected from this economist who was also the Governor of the Reserve bank of India. However 20 years down the line of which Singh has been Prime Minister and finance minister for as many as 13 years, the curse of poverty has not left India.
To be precise this is more like trying to clean the Augean stables and this menace just doesn't seem to go away. That is bad enough but many or I will say most people do not realize that in India poverty has grown in an upward spiral.
Committees and their Ineffectiveness
How do we reach this conclusion? For this we must refer to the reports of committees appointed by the Government of India themselves. These Government appointed committees have a sad tale to relate.
a) The first committee appointed to study this problem of poverty was the Tendulkar committee. This committee headed by the renowned economist Suresh Tendulkar after a lengthy interpolation of data concluded that 37% of the Indian population lived below the poverty line.
b) The second committee chaired by Dr. Arjun Sengupta came up with even more radical findings. He concluded by his own methodology that the 73% of the Indian population lived below the poverty line. Unfortunately Dr. Sengupta passed away after submitting the report
The figures that emerge from these reports are distressing. As per the Tendulkar committee report the number of Indians below the poverty line number 450 million, while this doubles to 900 million if we take the report of Dr. Sengupta as the basis. These figures are a damming indictment of the ManMohan Singh Government. No wonder India is the laggard in all fields from sports to scientific inventions, as with a hungry population one can't achieve anything.
Another nail in the coffin is the Credit Suisse Wealth Report 2010. In contrast to millions of under fed and under nourished Indians this report mentions that India has more than 30 billionaires and 1080 high net worth Indian whose assets number from $50-500 million. It also points out that 7,800 Indians have net assets value of from $10-50 million. This contrasts with the majority of the population subsisting on less than a dollar a day.
India is also going down in the UNDP Human Development index, where it has slid from a position of 95 in 1990 to 119 in 2010. This index is correlated taking into consideration factors like health, life expectancy, infant mortality, literacy and poverty. Can anything be sadder than this? Further this government has been tainted as the government that ushered in gigantic corruption scandals the like of which have never been see in India.
Reality Today
The truth is that poverty has not gone away and the rich have become richer and the poor has increased. This is a volatile cocktail and can erupt at any time. The have not's can rise up. That is the essence of Marxist dogma and theory.
Dr Singh needs to do some introspection and come to a conclusion as to how he would like history to remember him.


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